Wedding season is in full swing, and lots of us are spending our weekends watching our pals tie the knot.
As anyone who has been to a ceremony will know, the groom normally stands on the right and the bride on the left.
It turns out, there’s a very specific reason for this – and it’s not in the slightest bit romantic.
The tradition dates back to the 16th century and a very alarming practice called “marriage by capture” – essentially kidnapping.
Back in those days, men would sometimes actually KIDNAP a woman to make her his bride – which understandably caused major uproars in lots of scenarios.
In case the bride’s family or a rival suitor came charging into the church to save her, the groom would need his right hand free. This was to grab his sword and defend himself and his captive bride-to-be. Not exactly a fairytale wedding.
According to The Knot , most couples still follow the tradition but probably because they haven’t given it a lot of thought.
This strange tradition also partially explains the original role of the best man – it used to be a lot more complicated than making a funny speech and organising the stag do.
Back in the days of swashbuckling, the best man was chosen for his skills as a sword-fighter according to History Wedding .
His job was to stand guard beside the groom at the alter until their vows were exchanged. He also had to stand outside the bedroom door while the couple consummated their marriage – in case anyone decided to attack.
Apparently the tradition of bridesmaids wearing similar dresses to the bride was to ward evil spirits away – because they wouldn’t know which woman she is. It would also make it more difficult for kidnappers to steal her.
Bride kidnapping is a custom still happens in some cultures today – the Mirror reported a horrific story in 2014 of of a terrified woman being kidnapped for an arranged marriage in Kazakhstan.